Thursday, June 23, 2011


So my son found a bottle of lime juice in the refrigerator and wanted to drink it straight. He should be thankful that I convinced him to wait.

He loves citrus drink (lemonade in particular) so I figured he'd love Limeade. He did. I found a great idea online about making a concentrate so you can make it as you go. This is going to save a whole lot of time.

Limeade (makes 3 cups)
1 c Limeade concentrate
2 c Water

Limeade Concentrate
1 c Lime juice (6-8 limes)
mixed with simple syrup
   - 1 3/4 c  Sugar 
   - 1 3/4 c Water

CONCENTRATE - Heat water and sugar until all the sugar dissolves. Add juice and allow to cool (or pour over ice when mixing the Limeade). 

LIMEADE - Add a ratio of water to concentrate (over ice if hot) and allow to chill. Serve cold.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Caprese Pinenut Pizza

This pizza is a seasonal sensation. I have fresh basil from my herb container garden. Real tomatoes are starting to appear in the store - you know the ripe kind. Put them together with freshly grated mozzarella, loaded tomato sauce, and pine nuts for a tasty and sophisticated pizza. 

There is something amazing about toasted pine nuts. They aren't cheap, but just a few add such great crunch and flavor. I keep them in the fridge for little splurges and to make pesto.

As a texture eater, crunch is one of the best things you can add to any dish. This pizza has the pine nuts for crunch along with toasted mozzarella and a crisp crust. Under that crisp surface is the stretching gooey cheese and a fresh sauce.

Spray the edge of the crust with a little oil and sprinkle with salt, sesame seeds, crushed herbs, or whatever you enjoy before baking.

The crust:
2 c Unbleached Flour
2 c Wheat Flour
1 1/2 c Water
2 T Olive Oil
1 t Italian Seasoning
1/2 t Sea Salt
1/4 t Garlic Powder
2 t Yeast

Throw it all the bread machine and let the paddles do the work for you. Spread out on parchment paper, add your choice of toppings and bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. I put a bit of basil on the flavors to bake in and sprinkled on fresh chopped basil after it came out for the fresh taste.

Time Crunch Method - add topping to your favorite frozen cheese pizza. Reserve some fresh basil to sprinkle on after it finishes baking.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ice Tea Slushies

On a hot summer day it is really hard to beat the taste of an icee/slurpee/slushie (whichever term you use for a blended ice drink). However, I am not a fan of the super sweet/artificially colored and flavored syrups from which the are made. I've made lemonade slushies before with good results from the kids, but I thought I'd make one from one of my own summer time favorites - lemon sweet tea.

Can I just tell you that sweet tea is a weakness for me? I know the vast amount of calories that they can contain, so I usually make my own to try to control the calorie count - which is better but not great. So this slushie idea is great because I get the volume without sacrificing flavor, and the taste without all the calories. Win-win.

I started with about 2 c of ice in a blender and poured in 1 1/2 cups of tea (pick your favorite brew). I blended until it reached the right consistency (about 90 seconds on mine). I did end up adding a bit more tea to get it right, but that was more for the sake of my cheap blender than it was for the drink.

I filled a large sports bottle with me and hit the road (hence no picture - I'll try next time). It lasted far longer than an actual tea would because my mouth could only handle so much cold before needing a break. The slushie lasted the road trip to bring a meal to a friend recovering from surgery and made it for a nice summer drive.

This one is DEFINITELY going in the stack to make again. Now if I could justify a better blender...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Zucchini Bread Pudding

Why did I never think of this before? I love zucchini bread and I love bread pudding. Why not put them together and feast on their team effort? I broke a loaf of zucchini bread out of the freezer and made my plan. This plan is one that I'll be repeating for sure.

1 loaf of zucchini bread
4 large eggs
1 c milk
1 t cinnamon

Cube up the bread and put it in an 8" X 8" or 9" X 9" pan. Double the recipe for a 9" X 13" pan.
Wisk together eggs, milk, and cinnamon. Pour over bread cubes and use a piece of plastic wrap or the back of a large spoon to push the bread down into the custard mix. Allow to sit for 30 minutes - up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and back for 35-40 minutes until the top starts to brown slightly and appears to be dry. Serve warm or cool. Great topped with whipping cream or ice cream. Delicious on it's own.